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WFF Statements

Letter to Missouri Legislators on Proposed Equal Rights Amendment Bill

In March 2001, WFF learned that the State of Missouri is considering an Equal Rights Amendment [ERA] bill. WFF had opposed the national version of the ERA primarily because of its link with pro-abortion advocacy. The revival of the ERA in proposed Missouri legislation is not "abortion neutral", thus does not exclude tax-funded abortions.

The following letter , pointing out this flaw in proposed legislation supposedly addressing "women's issues", was sent to all representatives to the Missouri legislature, on behalf of WFF's 2,000+ members in the state. (Women for Faith & Family is based in St. Louis.)

March 30, 2001

House of Representatives
House Post Office
State Capitol
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Dear Representative [N],

Women for Faith & family is a national Catholic women's organization headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Started in 1984, Women for Faith & Family represents over 50,000 Catholic women. Approximately 2,000 of us live in Missouri.

Women for Faith & Family is opposed to the current ERA House bill sponsored by Deleta Williams because there is no abortion-neutralization amendment contained therein. Until an ERA bill contains a statement declaring, "nothing in the ERA shall be construed to grant, secure, or deny any right relating to abortion or the funding thereof", an ERA bill is vulnerable to interpretation which would invalidate restrictions on taxpayer-funded abortions or virtually any law that distinguishes between abortion and other medical procedures.

The 1998 ruling by the New Mexico Supreme Court is a case in point. New Mexico adopted an ERA to its state constitution very similar to the 1972 federal proposal. Because the NM ERA says, "equality of rights under law shall not be denied on account of the sex of any person", every justice on the NM Supreme Court held that a state ban on tax-funded abortions "undoubtedly singles out for less favorable treatment a gender-linked condition that is unique to women".

The New Mexico Supreme Court justices make our point for us. We are women. We are from Missouri. We are opposed to abortion. We are opposed to Delata Williams' ERA House Bill.

Sherry Tyree
Vice President
Women for Faith and Family

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